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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Chinese Oil Painting

A tweak to the last post, its clear that the style I have produced is more like an oil painting than a water colour, in fact the graphics effect I was using was named Oil Painting, not sure why I was thinking it was a water colour.

I was then able to apply the same effects to the animated forecast thumbnails; see below for a full screen version of the theme.

 
Now going to experiment with tweaking the red sun a bit to make it look more like a painting, and then will start on the other weather conditions.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Yet More Chinese Theme

I really wasn't happy with the overall look of my new Chinese Theme.

The layout and ideas were fine, it just didn't look right, too faded out. I know was trying to emulate a sketch or pencil drawing, but it just doesn't have the impact of the other themes, it didn't look pencilly enough, and it was not easy to see at a glance what the weather condition is, which is after all the whole point.

So I was playing with ways of increasing the contrast, making it darker and more easy to see, and came across a nice visual effect to make it look more like a water-colour painting.

As it happens I visited the studio of a water-colour artist during my recent holiday in England, and it inspired me a little. Thus the theme now looks a lot more like a moving painting, more arty and abstract, and less worry about photo realism.


I think this is an improvement on the screenshot in the last post, much easier to see what is going on, and if nothing else gives me an obvious title for the theme: Chinese Watercolour

Thursday, July 16, 2015

More Chinese Mountains and themes..

Coming towards the end of the design for the Chinese theme now.

Improved flowers on the lake, both static and moving, and fixed the mountains in the background.

Here it is with the weather text overlay:


Click for a larger version. I will be able to start work on the weather conditions soon.

Then a quick preview of the African Savannah idea, just the backgrounds at the moment, but I like the contrast of the yellow and blues, as opposed to the greens of the normal countryside:

 
 
Watching the new Zoo tv series is what gave me this inspiration, and another scene set in Tokyo makes me really want to a proper Japanese painting theme, similar to the Chinese but more abstract.  



Tuesday, July 14, 2015

More Chinese Theme..

Been doing more work on the Chinese Painting theme showing a misty mountain lake, see below:



First off, blending the edges so they fade into white, to give more of a paper or canvas feel.
Then added a bridge and gatehouse in the foreground, with a new animation of a galloping horse and rider that runs across the curve of the bridge.

The fishing boat now drifts slowly behind the bridge.

The waterfall animation is improved at larger resolutions, and the flying birds are faded out a bit so that they don't appear so high contrast.

The tree branches on the right still wave in the breeze, and drop flower petals at random intervals.

The pink water lilies at the front drift across the lake.

Still to do:
  • Improve the lily animation and add more flowers to the lake foreground.
  • Redo the far mountains behind the temple
Then will start work on the weather animations, and changing the colours of the forecast thumbnails so that they work with the white background.

I have decided to keep this a more stylized theme based on a single painting which is set during the day, so there will be no sunset or night versions. That will also mean its quicker to finish!

After that I need to investigate a city theme, but I had a nice idea for a African Savannah theme, with Kilimanjaro rising in the background, waving yellow grasses in the foreground, some nice baobab trees that would look great in silhouette at night and during sunset, and of course some nice animated animals, perhaps giraffes. And maybe a landrover crossing the screen..



Monday, June 29, 2015

New Chinese Painting Theme sneak peak..

So I have been working on a new theme, and here is a sneak peak; the concept is an animated painting of a misty mountain lake in Japan or China. It is based on Chinese ink paintings, so its quite monotone, with just splashes of colour.

Still work in progress, but has some nice and different animations. I have included a waterfall for the first time, which I am very happy with; I am sure that will be reused in themes to come. Then there is a fishing boat that drifts out of the mist, the usual flying birds, some floating water lilies, and flower petals that drop from the waving tree branches. And as there is a lake, it shows water ripples as the raindrops splash down during rain scenes.

All the usual Weather conditions will be present, but maybe a bit more stylized than the other themes. I haven't decided yet whether to include sunset and night variations, or just stick with the idea of an animated painting.

And I cant quite decide whether it should be Chinese or Japanese, the gate type structure is only found in Japan, but the mountains and the temple in the background are more Chinese. So I'm also toying with the idea of replacing that with a bridge of some kind, maybe joining the left and right sides.

Anyway, here is a quick screenshot:





Thursday, June 11, 2015

cliMate v3.4 Released

This was a quick release to fix a long standing issue since 3.0 that I finally got a handle on, as I was getting several reports of the Current Location not working, which just didn't make sense. If the phone returns a set of GPS coordinates, then the weather providers should always return data for the nearest weather station, but this was failing, even though the coordinates had been obtained.

With the help of one user, we narrowed it down to World Weather Online, and to when running under Czech language, at which point I could replicate and fix it.

It turns out that many languages use the comma character ',' to indicate a decimal point, instead of the period character '.' which is used in the UK, US etc. When the phone was running under such a language, it was returning the GPS coordinates using a comma, so -13.48123 became -13,48123. Open Weather Map is able to handle both commas and periods for decimal points, but World Weather Online was always expecting a period, so it was failing and returning error messages.

This is now fixed, and v3.4 should now have the Current Location working fine under all different locales and languages for all Weather Providers.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

CliMate Animated Weather Widget version 3.3 released!

The new version 3.3 of cliMate is now available!

Featuring:

  • New Stonehenge Theme!
  • All forecast dates now correctly localized
  • Added moon rise and moon set in Main Screen night conditions
  • Added option to hide contrails
  • Added option to hide Date
  • Added choice of windspeed units
  • Improved layouts when widget resized to extreme widths
  • Bug fixes for rare crashes
  • Bug fix for countries that have multiple cities with the same name
 
 
 
So what's next? Already started on a Chinese Ink Painting style theme which looks promising, then I think its about time for a City theme.
 
Also I'm toying with the idea of an alternate forecast view on the main screen, perhaps for the next 12 hours, arranged in a clock style circle, and animated of course. You could then swipe between that detailed forecast for today, and the general forecast for the next 5 days.